Logo close icon
Studying with us during coronavirus in 2021
Section navigation
Main Baner Image

Mental Health Studies MSc/PgDip / Healthcare Studies PGCert

Learn about the course below
October 2021
2 years part-time
£60 per credit (UK) *
£117 per credit (EU/INT) *
Course leader
Alfonso Pezzella

This flexible and unique programme is designed to allow practitioners who work in mental health services to build upon previous knowledge and experience in the field. It aims to enhance this prior knowledge and experience to facilitate your development and mastery in mental health-related skills and knowledge. It is anticipated that completing this MSc will enable you to contribute to the enhancement of professional mental health practice, research and service development.

This course is delivered entirely online.

Why study MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies at Middlesex?

You will be given the opportunity to study with others from a wide range of mental health settings and backgrounds, both nationally and internationally. It is hoped that the diversity of this learning environment stimulates enhanced learning of mental health issues, leading to improved practice and service development.

This MSc will allow you to plan your own individual study pathway to meet your personal, professional, academic and service needs. Furthermore, the optional modules can be taken at a pace and frequency that suits your circumstances, taking into account issues such as your location and work-life balance. As such, a number of modules are available via distance learning.

The best way to undertake this programme is over a minimum of two years. This will enable you to continue working in clinical practice and use that practice to help you complete the assignments on the course. You will complete the programme by choosing from a selection of modules that are available in the department. Please note that although we have an October start, dependent upon your choice of modules, it may be that your first class dates for your first modules may have a January start. This will be discussed with you when you start on the programme and choose the modules you wish to undertake.

In order to complete the programme applicants must be working in mental health or mental health related caring services with direct access to service users. They must be working with mental health service users during the course of their studies. This is so that assessments on the programme can be completed. EU and International students will need to provide evidence in their application that they have arranged such access before their application can be processed.

Overall, the programme is designed so that, where possible, credits achieved through prior study are recognised as part of the award.

Please note: This course does not lead to registration as a mental health nurse or other mental health practitioner. Applicants wishing to undertake a professional nursing programme, please visit our Nursing pages.

Course highlights

  • The university is highly rated by our students for our student support, which particularly helps those with non-traditional qualifications reach their potential
  • Your studies are supported by brand new state-of-the-art facilities, including a well-resourced library and access to a wide range of mental health-related e-books and journals
  • We have established relationships with London's leading mental health trusts
  • You will have the opportunity to network with a wide range of clinicians from a variety of backgrounds, both nationally and internationally
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on the MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies?

Applicants undertaking this route will need to complete 180 credits. This will be made up of two core modules, which will make up 90 credits and the remaining credits will be made up of optional modules which can be found in the list below. The list is not exhaustive and you may choose other modules from any School within the University if they complement your programme of mental health studies or professional practice.

All modules are delivered through online distance learning.

Applicants who have undertaken prior learning for which they have gained academic credit, may be able to use these credits towards the final award of masters.

If you do not wish to study the full MSc, you can complete a PGCert (60 credits) where you choose a combination of available Optional Modules.

If you do not wish to study the full MSc, you can complete a PGDip (120 credits) where you study one core module and the remaining 90 credits are chosen from the Optional Modules.


All modules are delivered through online distance learning.

  • Choose one of the following:

    • Social Research Methods (30 Credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to enable you to develop your research methods skills. This will give you 30 academic credits.

    • Advanced Practitioner Enquiry (30 Credits) - Compulsory
  • Plus one of the following:

    • Dissertation (60 Credits) - Compulsory
    • Work based learning project module (60 Credits) - Compulsory
  • Plus optional modules from the list below - to make up 90 credits (list subject to change):

    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (15 credits) - Optional
    • Risk Assessment and Management in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Social Inclusion and Recovery in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Meeting the needs of people with dementia and their carers (15 credits) - Optional
    • Improving well-being: increasing personal resilience and helping people change (15 credits) - Optional
    • Leadership for Public and Community Services (15 credits) - Optional
    • Service Development and Quality Improvement (15 credits) - Optional
    • Physical Assessment Skills for Mental Health Professionals (15 credits) - Optional
    • Mentorship Preparation (15 credits) - Optional
    • Critical Approaches to Dual Diagnosis (15 credits) - Optional
    • Motivational Interviewing: Strategies for Lifestyle and Behavioural Change (15 credits) - Optional
    • Social Inclusion and Recovery in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional
    • Older People and Problematic Drug Use (15 credits) - Optional
    • Assessment and Treatment in Dual Diagnosis (15 credits) - Optional
    • Substance Use and Addiction Theories (15 credits) - Optional

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information about typical course content outside of the coronavirus outbreak:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module,  or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How is the MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies taught?

You will work on practical assignments as well as attending lectures, workshops and seminars, where you will take part in class discussions and give presentations. You will work on problem-solving exercises, case studies, role-play exercises and group exercises, and supplement all this with your own independent study, including online learning. You will submit a research proposal and dissertation or work-based project, for which you will receive one-to-one tuition.

The course is taught entirely through online distance learning.



As well as exams, practical assessments and your dissertation or project, you may be assessed through a variety of means: reports, critical reflections on practice, service reviews, literature reviews, critical reviews of evidence, reflective journals, study skills workshops, case studies, online quizzes, presentations and class discussions. These will depend on the modules you take. You will receive regular feedback on your work, both from your tutors and other students.

Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we currently plan to teach your course online through a mixture of live interactive sessions and independent learning. This will ensure you’re equipped with the same skills as on campus study, and offer you an engaging learning experience where you can meet and network with your lecturers and fellow students through online platforms. We are also exploring opportunities for face-to-face interactive sessions with smaller groups of students and staff where possible and we can make the appropriate arrangements. You will still be able to access bookable study spaces on campus, and any of the facilities and support services which are open, as well as our extensive online support.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.


You’ll have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will mainly be delivered online and you’ll have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you’re studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You’ll have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MSc/PgDip Mental Health Studies/PGCert Healthcare Studies support your career?

This programme is aimed at practitioners who have experience of working in a mental health setting. It provides an excellent opportunity for them to use their existing expertise, professional qualifications or work experience to gain a recognised qualification.

The Programme has been specifically designed to further your career within the industry through enhancing existing professional practice through personal development and self-managed learning, as well as consolidating and expanding your professional network. You will have the opportunity to gain a qualification that is directly relevant to your field of work and the projects you complete will also make a significant contribution to the achievement of your work objectives. Combined, these benefits provide a powerful stimulus to career development and enhancement in your professional area.

Alfonso Pezzella
Programme Leader

Alfonso Pezzella is the course leader for MSc Mental Health Studies. Alfonso teaches on a variety of topics including research methods, SPSS, mental health, LGBT issues and transcultural issues in health. Alfonso is currently working on a European project (IENE 5) led by Professor Irena Papadopoulos (Middlesex University) and five other European countries, which aims to develop a MOOC in Intercultural Communication Skills and Patient Safety. He is also working on various research projects on LGBT inclusion in the curriculum in health and social care and LGBT and mental health.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Mental Health and Substance Use (Dual Diagnosis) MSc

Start: September 2021

Code: PGB70C

Start: September 2018

Duration: 14-months full-time

Code: L500

Start: October 2021, EU/INT induction: September 2021

Duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Code: PGC84S

Back to top